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Whistler to lobby MPs to pass federal budget

Communities ‘suffer’ as Bill C-48 lingers in Ottawa

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Whistler will be lobbying local MP John Reynolds to get the federal budget in its entirety passed in Ottawa.

At the request of Councillor Marianne Wade, council passed a motion on Monday night which would see Whistler lobby its MP and Pemberton’s MP Chuck Strahl to that end.

Without the budget amendment, or Bill C-48, passed into law, Canadian municipalities cannot access more money from the gas tax, nor the money promised to affordable housing initiatives.

The amendment is stuck at the executive standing committee level as Conservatives work to defeat it.

Bill C-48 was part of the Liberal deal to win crucial NDP support for the budget, which was passed just weeks ago.

"It’s a huge impact on all of our municipalities," said Wade after Monday’s council meeting.

"Right now the communities are the ones that are suffering and they need this money for infrastructure and affordable housing."

Wade brought the motion forward after her trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland where she attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual General Meeting.

"When we were at the FCM board meeting we struck a policy to lobby all MPs and for councils to pass resolutions in support of politicians getting on with voting for the budget because it’s in the best interest for communities," added Wade.

It’s not only crucial for Whistler to access the gas tax money but Wade said the municipality could also get money for affordable housing.

"Our growing gap of income disparity here and high real estate rates… it’s not affordable," she explained. "It’s not 30 per cent of your income."

Wade was pleased council supported her motion to lobby local MPs and said the exercise highlighted the importance and value of her building relationships at the national level at FCM.

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